5 Strategies to Improve Your YouTube SEO

It’s about time we talk about YouTube.

If you’ve added YouTube to your company’s marketing strategy, you know it’s a tough game. It’s a genuine challenge to see serious numbers on your video content, even when you’re promoting it elsewhere on your blog, Facebook, Twitter, and other social channels.

Unless you get lucky and have one of your YouTube videos go viral, you may get discouraged about the potential for ROI. After all, are you even doing this whole thing right in the first place? Is an audience out there for the content you’re looking to produce? Or is it just a waste of your marketing department’s time and energy?

Even if you aren’t planning on going all-in on YouTube video production for your business, YouTube can still be a really positive place to have a content marketing presence. Not only does YouTube provide a channel for you to present your company’s expertise in a field, but it can also add an interesting dimension to your direct response marketing efforts.

The secret to cracking the YouTube code may just lie in SEO.

A good SEO strategy can turn so-so YouTube numbers into great ones, drive new traffic to your site, and significantly improve the ROI on your YouTube spend. Believe it or not, implementing even five strategies can make a big difference.

So, read on to learn how to supercharge your SEO and crack the YouTube code!

Improving SEO on YouTube

If you’re familiar with SEM tactics, you’ve already got a leg up when it comes to effectively leveraging SEO for your YouTube videos. Regardless of your background, you can seriously boost your YouTube numbers by focusing on five strategies when titling and uploading your videos.

1. Titles & Thumbnails

The first area that can make a difference to your SEO is the title, but we also want to throw thumbnails into the mix here.

A title is your first and best tool for grabbing new viewers. Not only does it allow you to directly incorporate your target keyword and help your video show up more prominently in YouTube search results, but it’s one of two major factors helping your CTR on a video. While we’re here, it’s also worth pointing out how much an attention-grabbing thumbnail can help your click-through rate. Put in the extra time to add titles, graphics, or eye-catching colors that match your video!

Example: Bicycle Repair Shop

A video about fixing a flat tire won’t get much SEO traction or garner many clicks with an off-topic title like “Fixing Flats at Home.” Instead, a catchy and keyword-relevant title like “Home Bicycle Repair: Fix a Flat Tire in 5 Minutes” not only will draw eyes but be more relevant for keywords like “bicycle repair” or “flat tire.”

2. Video Descriptions

Video descriptions are valuable SEO real estate, so it’s a shame that so many businesses underutilize them!

A good video description not only lays out what a viewer can expect from a YouTube video, but it offers a ton of other benefits to SEO and your direct response marketing goals at large. It’s going to come up in search results on YouTube, so make sure it draws attention and includes related keywords.

Example: Construction Company

A video titled “5 Energy-Saving Renovations You Need to Make” is a good start, but not if the video description only says, “5 energy-saving renovations you need to make.” Instead, this description can explain some of the renovations, talk about skyrocketing energy costs, and even drive viewers to sign up for your email or visit your website.

3. Video Tags

Unfortunately, many businesses don’t really know how properly deploy tags and take true advantage of the SEO potential.

This is where a healthy understanding of keyword clustering—and how your company’s different products and services relate to each other and your audience—can really help. Another rule of thumb: Tags are exact, so adding plural and singular versions of certain words may make a difference.

Example: Homeowners Insurance

A video explaining the difference between a premium and a deductible may lend itself to 5-10 video tags like “homeowner’s insurance” and “premium vs deductible.” But a better YouTube video tag strategy will also include 10-20 other tags like “deductible vs premium,” “what is an insurance premium,” “learn about insurance,” and the name of your company.

4. Transcriptions

Certainly the most overlooked opportunity for SEO improvements on YouTube videos is the inclusion of a transcription on your videos.

YouTube performs this work automatically, but let’s be honest: It doesn’t do a great job. However, if you thoughtfully include your target keywords in the script for each video and add an accurate transcription when uploading, then YouTube will index those words and your SEO will see the results.

Example: Accounting Firm

A video describing how to find extra deductions on your taxes may already include a number of related keywords relevant to your business, but YouTube might not catch them all. Instead, up your chances at ranking for these valuable keywords by including a full transcription with the video.

5. Engagement

Google doesn’t just factor in your title and description when determining how relevant your video is in a search; it takes some level of social proof into consideration, too.

Specifically, the more social shares, inbound links, likes, comments and responses, and embeds you get, the better off you are. How do you get this extra traffic? Make high quality videos that people want to watch. Share them on your social pages, and send them to your company’s team; you’d be surprised who else might want to share them, too!

Example: Camera Rental Company

A well-made review of a new camera can certainly rack up some views, but you shouldn’t expect the tags to do all the heavy lifting. Instead, try sending it out in your company newsletter to clients. With this strategy, you’ll accomplish two things: Keeping your clients updated on your newest inventory, and giving them the chance to send a link out to their network of camera aficionados!

YouTube and SEO: The Sky’s the Limit

Unleashing the potential of YouTube to your SEO strategy is as easy as 1-2-3…4-5.

Apply the SEM knowledge you already have to your new YouTube efforts, and watch the results roll in. Sure, it can be hard work to get a new YouTube channel off the ground, but trust us when we say that for the right company, it’s more than worth it.

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